03 May Turkey Hunting – Home Grown Gobbling Getting!
Turkey hunting in Illinois 1st season.
So as many know, this spring turkey hunting season was not like the normal mild weather. We had snow, cold, high winds and freezing temps. Yes, if one more person tells me about global warming I am going to strangle them ….LOL!
We still had some standing corn left in one of our plots, and we knew we were holding many turkeys on our property. The question remained though, was there anything left of the plot? Our Spypoint cameras continued to tell us we still had a lot of action,
so we set up our Ameristep blinds where we were getting photos of where the gobblers were strutting.
As usual, we were all set up and ready to roll a big ole gobbler, however they did not play well with others… the others being us! They flew off the roost and hit the valley, gobbling all the way and then, we could hear them working their way up towards us and they all shut up. Now they didn’t smell us…LOL and couldn’t see us, so I thought maybe a coyote or bobcat came thru and shut them down. About 30 minutes later we heard one shallow gobble and sure enough they came from the north this time and walked in back of us not making another sound.
We continued to hunt there for sometime, and figured we just better get out. As we walked back we heard a gobble out near the jeep and sure enough there were two gobblers strutting around my jeep. I tried to call to them but there was a pile of hens in the field and they went to the real thing.
The 2nd day of the turkey hunt.
The next morning we woke to over 2” of snow on the ground and decided to try and set up in the woods on a path for the morning turkey hunt. We had birds gobbling to the south, southeast and the north, so we set up in a brush pile and thought we were in good enough cover only to learn we should have worn our Realtree SNOW camo, a hen spotted us and that was all it took.
Day 3 of the turkey hunt.
The next morning I was back in the blind turkey hunting, but had my mind made up that if they didn’t show up before 8am, I was going after them! So we played the game till almost 10:00am, but they didn’t want to show themselves, so I had enough and had to run & gun.
We heard one lone gobble over the ridge, down near one of the fields, so we went around and I gave a few cuts & yelps on our HS calls and got his attention and he responded! so we quickly set up and he came probably to within 60 yds or so but held up. So once we heard him going away, we got up and moved closer to him always paying close attention to try and not bust him out.
Went another 75yds or so and hit him again with a call, and this time he quickly responded and then another gobbler let loose and gobbled! We scrambled to set up and did a few more yelps and then shut up. Both gobblers hit again and it went quiet. About 10 minutes passed and I spotted the red head coming thru the brush. I whispered to Chad, are you on him and I couldn’t hear his response. I whispered the second one, and as I yelped with my mouth he stretched his head up over the brush and I let the Browning A5, that was loaded with Browning Ammo 3” #5’s do the trick! At 40 yds he crumbled in the brush!!
Unfortunately, the guys weren’t on the gobbler, and didn’t get it on film, but through all the years of us, doing what we do, I quickly came back with my response….”I was!” LOL. You have to just go with the flow, and that’s exactly what we all did. It was an awesome hunt and I able to call him in, even though they were playing super shy. So no matter what, it was a great morning to be in the turkey woods, hanging with the crew and talking turkey, not only to the birds but to ourselves as well.
Oh, by the way, temp was 43 degrees and this spring was still the coldest we can remember.